I have two very important reasons for this post:
1) Humor: It’s important to let you know from the get-go that I’ve got a sense of humor and I’m not afraid to use it. I love funny things & I love to laugh! So, you’ll see a bunch of little ha-ha-ha’s on this blog like good ol’ Ben above. If you find some funny stuff related to computers, tech, or teaching…please feel free to add ’em to my Facebook feed so that the whole class can enjoy!
2) Humility: I’ve got to tell you right off the bat that I’m swimming upstream in this technology thing just like the rest of you! It’s a constant effort to keep up with it all, stay current, and do self-training. I constantly turn to colleagues, friends, blogs, and the rest of the big ol’ internet to just keep learning. There’s so much I don’t know…so much I want to know. Sometimes, the tech gurus on the forums and even some of my colleagues are SO mega-tech-savvy that I’m intimidated to even ask for help. So… I’m not ashamed to say that I learn much better when I can ask a question without feeling stupid, and someone actually takes the time to explain or show me – on my own level. Since I believe in treating others the way I want to be treated, that’s very much how I like to interact with others who come to me for an idea or for help. Please feel comfortable here.
Put #1 and #2 together, and we get a true story…the one that was a Primary Techspiration for this post…
Two years ago, I had a teacher come into the lab. She has always been pretty open about the fact that she doesn’t yet know a lot about computers, but this day she was obviously pumped about something new she had just learned. “Kath,” she began excitedly, “I heard that there is a way that we can change the type of handwriting in Microsoft Word!”
I immediately realized she was talking about fonts. She had just learned that there were different kinds of fonts. She didn’t even know the word ‘font’ at that point. And yes, this was 2012. At this point, my reaction was to smile REAL big, share in her joy, and say, “Yup, they’re called fonts! It’s so cool…you won’t believe how many there are! Probably over 100! Come on, sit down, let me show you.” She stared wide-eyed at my monitor as I selected some text, clicked on the drop-down menu of fonts, and scrolled through them. She eagerly asked me to try several of them so she could see how they looked. Of course, I used that moment to quickly demonstrate how to change size and color too, and the whole experience left her giddy, enthusiastic, and impressed with herself! She buzzed out of my room so that she could go back to editing the document in her classroom. (She probably even tried Franklin Gothic!)
That was such a powerful ‘aha-moment’ for me, and taught me some of the greatest lessons I’ll ever have as a tech trainer and even as a teacher:
– Everyone is at a different place in their learning journey. Differentiation is cool.
– Greet enthusiastic questions with enthusiasm, gusto, and perkiness… no matter how basic it may seem.
– Things that seem simple or obvious might just have a big WOW factor for someone who hasn’t tried it before!
Oh, and hey…if this teacher sounds like you or someone you know, and you’d like to know about how to see and change all the different fonts, sizes, and colors, here’s a helpful little link: http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000829.htm